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The reason American beer is so bad

Category : General · by May 5th, 2009

So one of the many questions rolling around my head, particularly since living in the United States, has been: why is American beer so bad?

It really is bad. I know Brits get mocked for flat, warm beer (I love it – the taste is terrific), but American beer – your Buds and Millers – really is absolutely dreadful. Tastes of nothing at all, doesn’t refresh or quench or present any of the pleasurable qualities that beer has brought to me many, many times over the past 20 years. In fact, just about the only thing American beer does do is get you drunk – if you can stand to drink enough of it.

Well, I have found out the answer. There was a History Channel documentary on US brewing history at the weekend and it was pretty easy to divine the historical and cultural reasons behind this peculiarity that an entire nation loves drinking rat’s piss while everyone else in the world has spent centuries savouring their beer.

And this is the three-part answer:

  1. It wasn’t always like this. Americans used to love decent tasting beer. But during World War One, there was a massive backlash against the Germans in the US. At the time, most of the breweries were German or based on German beers or called German names. They took a massive hit and new “American” brewing companies appeared and prospered amid the patriotic fervour.
  2. Before this had time to shake itself out, Prohibition kicked in. From 1920 to 1933, it was illegal to produce alcoholic drinks. So the brewing industry used its factories to produce other sorts of goods instead. Not only did this cause serious brewers to up and leave the country but it effectively hit reset on the nation’s palate. After Prohibition ended, all that was left was a few giant American breweries able to effectively shape a nation’s taste.
  3. Before great beer was able to make its inevitable way back into people’s lives, America went through the Second World War and then, crucially, entered the great modern era of advertising. The best example was Miller Lite – which was originally a diet beer aimed at women. The ads – with the still-used tagline “Great Taste…Less Filling!” – were hugely successful and showed working men enjoying Miller. It became one of the first lifestyle approaches to advertising. And, in the way that the greatest ads flip reality, it sold a dreadful tasteless liquid as possessing a “great taste”. Miller Lite and Bud Lite continue to be advertised with unbelievable logic-altering force to this day.

But there is good news.

Micro-brewers save the day

Over the past 15 years or so, there has been the Great Rise of the microbrewery with the United States. With no calamities in between, the American public slowly began to realise its palate and good beer began to find more and more of a market.

Although the light beers still take the majority of the market, the microbreweries are growing in strength and you can find a lot of decent beers in the US these days. Although you may have to seek them out.

I can recommend Anchor Steam from San Francisco. I also tried Brooklyn Beer last weekend in New York, which was pretty good. Sierra Nevada is widely available in Los Angeles and is very enjoyable. And my new favourite is Arrogant Bastard which I had at Baby Blues BBQ on Lincoln the other day. The writing on the label was worth the cost itself. Another good location is Father’s Office in Santa Monica and Culver City which specialises in very, very good beers from the US and elsewhere.

More importantly there are beer festivals across the year. I just missed the Los Angeles one. And there is a Great American Beer Festival. Also, according to one local, who was listening in to my explanation of the above at the LA Galaxy match on Saturday and turned around and told me he was pleased I recognised the microbrewing industry, there is a beer festival coming up near Los Angeles in the next month (may have to track it down).

Anyway, so there you go: an explanation of why American beer is so bad, plus an optimistic ending.


(42) comments

12 years ago ·

I’m a long-time fan of Stone and Sierra Nevada, but I’ve recently discovered Pliny the Elder IPA from Russian River, and it’s ruined me for just about every other beer. Availability is limited (reportedly Russian River vet whomever they supply to), but I’ve seen it recently at Father’s Office 2 (the Culver City “adjacent” location).

12 years ago ·

BTW, this may be what the chap at the Galaxy match was referring to:

12 years ago ·

Cheers Geoff. Will check out the beerfest and Pliny the Elder.

Father’s Office 2 is good in that it has more room but I think some of the friendliness of Father’s Office in Santa Monica is lost. The staff also seem a bit more snooty – I fear a dangerous culture of arrogance is brewing.

[…] No idea. EDIT: I know now thanks to this. […]

Bill McKinley
11 years ago ·

Very nice article Kieren. I have had these same thoughts for years and did see the PBS doc on American breweries. I am a home brewer and lover great beer especially the Belgian styles. I have had this idea for a few years now to somehow, with contributions from the beer lovers across America, create a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl, that slams the cheap American beer and promotes the quality and flavor etc of microbrews and homebrews. Cheers.

11 years ago ·

why this common misconception that beer in britain/europe is WARM and FLAT? we love it ICE COLD just like any other country, although certain beers are to be served at room temperature. And its not as fizzy as coke like all american beers but it definately isnt flat..

11 years ago ·

Why the simplistic title “American Beer is so bad.” For one, the american micro and craft brewer take with great pride beers that are produced right here in America. Although brewing beers of certain European styles, these unique US craft beers are well sought after and in my opinion rival, and in some cases defeat some of the most coveted of Euro styles. There are also the American versions of many of Euro styles that implement new and inventive brewing techniques and use new and native ingredients to the US. Saying “American” Beer is bad is short cited; if one were to compare the great restuarants of the globe to our plethora of fast food chains and over commercialized eateries you could easily make the case that “American” food is completely god awful. A grave disservice to great chefs and culinary genius that happens here. Not trying to attack but only to ask that if it is “American” beer that is to blame, make sure to properly title that it is the massively overproduced, overmarketed “Macro” beers such as Budweiser, Coors and Miller. All of which I must add are all foreign owned. Being a brewer myself I love my “American” beers and say that they are certainly some of the best in the world. We have breweries such as Russian River, Three Floyds, Jolly Pumkin, the list can go on, to thank for such a claim. Cheers and keep enjoying fine, small, craft, micro, or simply put, brewed with passion and from the heart “American” beers.

11 years ago ·

You have to be out of your mind, or completely ill-informed. Twenty-five years ago that statement would be accurate, but given the great beers that have been developed in America since then and the surge of the micro breweries, that has changed and America is probably only behind the UK in making the best beer.

No real American beer drinker considers Budweiser, Coors and the like (mostly owned by non-American companies) real beer.
Perhaps next time you should actually no what you are babbling about before you write such a moronic article.

11 years ago ·

@Eric and yakofujimato: I’m not sure what to say, the post ends quite clearly with a rundown of the resurgence of micro-breweries and good beer.

This post is an effort to explain why it is that the US has been dominated – and continues to be so – by a small range of below-par beers. Unless you are denying that’s true – and it’s really isn’t hard to pull out figures that show it is – then please hold off on the abuse.

11 years ago ·

Agree completely. I have now been in the US for nearly 3 months and have grown sick to the back teeth of urine samples such as Bud, Miller and Coors etc. They are so bad, I often find myself spitting them out and pouring them down the sink.

Yes, if you spend time seeking them out, there are some rather good micro-breweries (New Belgium from Colorado being notable for producing brews such as “Fat Tire”) although, I do not believe that Sam Adams (another good brewery) can any longer be considered a “micro.”

I have long since wondered why American “mainstream” brews are so repellent; your article has elucidated that point to me, clearly and articulately.
I concur with your analysis and have vowed to only buy quality beer from now on (when I can find it) even though, sadly, it’s double the cost of those disgusting, generic domestic varieties.

11 years ago ·

Saying things like “there are good beers in America, but you have to seek them out” only means you are probably buying your beer at 7-11.
This phrase proves that even some so-called beer aficionados have no clue what they’re talking about when it comes to American brews.

I live in a pretty small town in Minnesota and even my po-dunk little liquor store carries some of the absolute top in micro-brews. Surly Beer for one has one the highest rated brews *in the world* labeled Darkness.
Even the snooty and highbrow has 6 American brews in their top 10 all-time best brews…

Bottom line is if you think a good brew is hard to find in the US you are probably just lazy and really don’t have any idea what constitutes a good brew in the first place.

11 years ago ·

@Wow: It really depends on where you live. I have to say though that in the past year I have seen a massive increase in decent beer available in liquor stores.

And restaurants are holding more and more decent beers. However, bars are still dominated by the rat’s piss varieties of Bud, Coors, Miller etc.

So, it’s undeniably getting better, but still some way to go.

11 years ago ·

You really have trouble finding good beer in America? You say you have to “seek it out”? I simply don’t believe you. Either you’re willfully not trying or you really know nothing about beer. First of all, microbrews have been widely available since at least the late eighties in the US. Quality regional brewers like Sam Adams, Victory, Goose Island and Stone are pretty damned big, available nationwide in grocery stores and mainstream at this point. Maybe you’re just noticing now, but this is hardly anything new. Michael Jackson (famed British beer guy, not sparkly glove guy) called the US the best beer country in the world in the mid-ninties. Judging by my math, that was 15 years ago. Secondly, after 25-30 years of development, the variety and availability of good beer is extremely widespread throughout the US. In the depths of small town Utah you can find local lambics being produced. Every college town will have several breweries. If you’re anywhere near a town of any size, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Here in Chicago, you can find 20 different microbrews in gas stations. If you go to any liquor store, you’re overwhelmed with extremely esoteric one-off seasonals from dozens of local breweries and hundreds more American beers from further afield in every style possible. Damning American beer with faint praise, like you do at the end of the post, is ridiculous. I say again: either you’re being willfully ignorant or you know nothing about beer.

11 years ago ·


Anyway, on a tangent, I’m currently an interesting (and long) book on the prohibition movement and how exactly it was passed.

Very interesting reading for the more in-depths cultural aspects around alcohol in the US.


10 years ago ·

I lived in San Fancisco from 1994 – 2000. I was a bartender there from 1996 – 2000. Prior to (and during) my experience tending bar, I drank copious amounts of beer. There was a time when my beer consumption was borderline out-of-control.

I moved to San Francisco from St. Louis, home of Anheuser-Busch. This was a time when micro-breweries were really picking up momentum in popularity. Every bar in San Francisco offered the hometown beer (Anchor Steam) on tap. Additionally, you could readily find Newcastle, Guinness, Red Hook, Sierra Nevada, Prohibition, John Courage, and a host of other beers.

There was a prevailing sense, then, that drinking a mass-produced, American lager, was something only rednecks and/or idiots did. Cultured people did not touch the stuff. There would be times in certain bars or restaurants, that you would be judged by patrons and employees alike if you asked for a Bud.

So I didn’t. For many years. And then I came to my senses. And here’s what I have to say about it: the notion that American Lager is substandard beer is an elitist bunch of bullshit. For those of us that sit down to DRINK lots of beer, there is nothing better than American lager. Not everyone likes an 8% (or more) beer that weighs heavy on the stomach or has been steeped with extensive hops flavoring. There is a reason mass produced American beers are popular: it’s because the breweries are the best at what they do – produce a light, highly-drinkable lager. American beers are so good, in fact, that other cultures (such as the Japanese) have tried copying them because of their popularity in their respective countries (Asahi and Kirin Ichiban are both the Japanese versions of American lagers, yet you seldom hear anyone shitting on those brands, perhaps because they’re perceived as being “exotic”)

Ironically enough, over time I knew many, MANY, bartenders and bar employees in San Francisco, who had enough of the notion that drinking anything other than micro-brews was a “pedestrian” mindset, and began to rediscover mainstream American brands.

To this day I still proudly love American beer. I am not a hillbilly, I’m not a republican, I don’t own a gun, I have an extensive education, I’ve enjoyed many, many varieties of beer, but I always go back to what I love best: ice cold, light, American beer. There is nothing finer than an ice cold Budweiser and a plate full of fresh, steaming-hot chicken wings.

And anyone who disputes this, forgive me for saying, is a fucking idiot.

10 years ago ·

guy above me is a real fucking idiot.

10 years ago ·

Here is why “none” is a “fucking idiot”:
“None”, you illustrate your ignorance in just about every line of your comment. While you are welcome to your opinions on “american” macro lagers (There is an overwhelming amount of opinion and literature documenting how these beers sell SOLELY on ignorance and advertising) you may want to read up on who owns and operates these “American” breweries. With the recent acquisition of AB by INBEV there now remains not a single macro lager brewer that is U.S. owned or operated. The big 3 (Coors, AB, Miller) are all owned by foreign conglomerates. While the advertising still hinges around “American” value there is very little “American” about these companies. As of the date of of this post the largest American brewer is Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). As for the smaller brands of macro lager such as Michelob and high gravity lagers, MANY of these are owned by the big 3 (see for a complete list).

The previous posters are more or less correct that craft beer has seen a huge resurgence as of late mainly due to the information which the digital age has been able to streamline regarding brewing and distribution. Many people cite the cost benefit of buying budweiser over craft beer, however if you do the simple math it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that craft beer is as good a deal in $$$/ABV (Alcohol By Volume) if not better in many cases (Stouts and IPAs). Sadly the blue collar crowd which constitutes the bulk of the macro lager market often lacks the math skills to figure this simple fact out and is also quite prone to the advertising behemoth (however innacurate) that is “American” macro lager. I hope in the future that as craft brewers gain market share they focus there efforts not on making more elaborate and alien hybrid beers but on educating working class americans on the quality, workmanship and value that go into true AMERICAN BEER.

The only remaining market based argument that is put forth for macro lagers is the calorie count per beer which has come under scrutiny lately as the big 3 put out lighter and lighter beer (see AB/INBEV 55 and MGD 64). While the calorie count is markedly low on beers one must realize that the ABV will fluctuate inversely. This means while MDG 64 has only 64 calories it is also only 2.8% ABV, approximately 1/3 the strength of a middle of the road IPA or typical porter, stout, or wheat beer. Bud select 55 is simliar having even less, a paltry 2.4% ABV, many typical imperial/double stouts have upwards of 4 times this much alcohol yet there is no trace of alcohol anywhere in the flavor. It is fairly simple to follow the logic here and it permeates on up through all the macro lagers, bud light is a mere 4.2% ABV and even full calorie budweiser in all it’s glory is 5% ABV, about equivalent to a weak pale ale.

The logical conclusion to this problem is thus to just drink liquor, however the kicker to the whole “low calorie” myth that the big 3 have helped permeate is the fact that the calories in alcohol have very little to do with the weight gain so commonly associated with it’s consumption. In fact the source of the weight gain related to alcohol has to do with the alcohol itself preventing the normal metabolic action of the body to function thus the calorie count is largely marginial. When alcohol is processed by the liver it forms acetate which replaces fat in the metabolic process, therefore as long as acetate is present (until you are sobered all the way up) all the fat you eat is stored directly into the body which can, in extreme cases, precipitate the “beer gut”. The bottom line is calories contribute VERY little to this effect; it isn’t much different than the famous simpsons episodes featuring a shot of the “duff” brewery where 3 types of duff (light, original and dry) are all shown being poured out of one big tube.

To summarize:
Craft beer = True high quality American product
“American” lite lager = a cheap imported knockoff
Big 3 Advertising dollars spent annually > Entire cost of American Beer Market AND IT WORKS.
Macro lagers = Weak beer (literally, it was marketed on this point)
Low Calorie Beer Benefits = Medically proven scam

These distinctions are not my opinion, they are fact and until these simple points are made more widely clear craft beer will stay a slowly growing, limited market product despite being vastly superior to the chinese and south american manufactured knockoff competition. It is a rarity for a truly superior product to get be in such a minority but in this case the lobbying power of the big 3 is huge and the move to lite beer was the first and most successful marketing campaign to date. The way forward would be to simply have people try a couple new styles and brewers much as in soda adds, however the difference in beverages here would be all the craft beer market would need, that first couple of tastes would most likely solidify a majority of the market. Whether this happens or not will be entirely up to the burgeoning new craft beer community, lets hope they go for the obvious.

I hope this laid clear what AMERICAN beer truly is and the state of the beer market today. The causes trace back several hundred years as the article stated but the current state of the beer market in the U.S. is in fact nearly the opposite of what was inferred by the title.

*Note: There is actually only a big 2 left as Miller and Coors is now Miller/Coors but as this isn’t as publicly known as the AB/INBEV buyout I didn’t indicate it for sake of simplicity. In actuality the “Big 3” brewers of macro lager (junk beer) would be AB/INBEV, Miller/Coors and Heineken.

I have to cite 2 sources for most of this info: (The movie, not the website)

10 years ago ·

The writer’s original question ‘Why is American beer so bad?’. There is one more item that is huge as far as the history of American beer is concerned. He is dead on in the anti-german backlash of WWI, the effect of prohibition, and the post-WWII advertising effect.

One big missing piece is that during the depression, and even more so during WWII, American brewers did not have access to good grains. Prohibition was lifted in 1932. So it took a couple of years to get the breweries working at top notch. But, in the depression, farmers were struggling to get back up on there feet and were not delivering quality grains. By the time they had their harvests back up to good quality, the war set in and all high quality grains went to the front lines.

So, the brewers made due with what they could get. The GI’s got used to this beer that was shipped over to there camps in Europe and Hawaii, came back home, and continued drinking Miller, Schlitz, and Bud. Back home, it was said that drinking American beer was patriotic, even if the flavor was terrible. Americans’ palates were taught that this was good stuff. After the war, advertising kicked in. The sky was the limit for light American lager to boom.

Hope this helps.

9 years ago ·

Marc-yes, he is. Chris,John– Good points and information.

IT IS difficult to find anything outside the standard shit of bud/lt, miller, busch and natty ass. At convenience stores. If i must buy piss, i am quite the fan of good old PBR. At least i can taste it. Still, hard to find. So, to the grocery store it is, rather than the gas station. I love that the micros are making a dent in the market. Perhaps if they weren’t so proud of them…?

It should not cost as much or more for American brews as it does for imports. The “they are small and it costs more to produce” arguments are shit as well. No one can call Boston Beer a micro anymore, nor can you Sierra Nevada or Red Hook. These are big name companies, with same big name corporate greed. You want your products to take off? Price it comparably to domestic beers, because that is what they are. Oh, but right now they are enjoying steady growth from their target market, and if they ever do become mainstream, will still be overpriced and feel justified about it.

One can only hope that the rapid influx of so many more micros nationwide will provide enough competition to make the prices reasonable. Hope. Sadly, most of them are coming right out of the gate ridiculously priced as well. A damn shame.

Some of these micros, by the way, i love. Big fan of both Red Hook And Sierra, as well as Sam Adams, Sweetwater, Terrapin etc. Too many to name, not to mention import stuff. I have brewed at home for years, and have friends who work in various breweries around here. I would love to see real beer come back in this country. There will always beer beer chugging buffoons, and sometimes i will join their proud ranks, but that is not enjoying beer. Let them keep buying the cheap shit. There are also thousands of people a day who go into the store not decided yet on what they are going to buy. Those are the customers being lost. Studies have proven (and anyone with a brain admits) that, when undecided, the first and most effective decision maker is price. It’s our default setting. Fix it, and they won’t be able to make the shit fast enough to keep it on the shelves. Then maybe you can justify your exorbitant fee.

9 years ago ·

too funny to read how Americans try to defend the micro breweries which make so much better beer and all they can do is IPA variations which are the easiest beer to make.

Show me an American micro which can do a very good Pils, Hefeweizen, and Dunkel.

I found few very good breweries in the USA and all their brew masters actually studied in Austria beer making for years.

90% of what you can find in the USA is nothing more than the level of home brewing skill both mass production or micro.

I just bought a Leavenworth Eightmile Alt Apline Style Ale.
The alps dont have ales, we do not Britain does. And an Alt is not an API – which it actually only is again.

They also have a Hefeweizen and Pilz and I would not be surprised in case all those are as well API with different flavors but not REAL beers.

American beer makers have to learn their trade.
I am sorry Americans if you want to experience real beer get out of your Chinese world of being the center and move to Europe. Heck even China makes better blond beers today.

9 years ago ·

@claas: You’d better tell these guys they wasted their time writing this book:


Alfred E. Neuman
9 years ago ·

Well, I’ll agree with Claas that American microbreweries seem to be producing almost nothing but variations on IPA. But your disdain for our craft/micro brewing industry is very smug and petty. European brewing traditions, and even some of your breweries, have been around for at least a thousand uninterrupted years. But we are just starting over, from scratch, in at most the past quarter century. And though I don’t really like weird new beers like the one you mentioned, I think that the level of non-corporate creativity is to be applauded. Today there is so very little of American culture that is not under tight, absolute corporate control (music, cuisine, education, religion, government, etc.), it is delightful to see small companies being creative and trying to grow beyond the homebrewing level they started at. Also, your general disgust of Americans comes through a bit too strongly, in my opinion. We’re talking about beer here. Don’t let American corporations lie to you through your TV about who and what we are.

9 years ago ·

Nothing like a REAL Czech beer – in my opinion, the best beer! American beers, as I understand it, are pasteurized and that’s one reason why most of the massed produced beers taste like crap. Unfortunately, even the imports are required to be pasteurized. Why? Why are American beers “treated” like this? It takes away from the wholesome taste. A Pilsner in the US tastes flat and almost bitter whereas a Pilsner in Prague has an incredibly rich, flavorful taste.

9 years ago ·

Too funny to read how idiots like claas try to disparage American beer when they don’t know anything about it. If you think American microbrews are all IPA, you have clearly made zero effort to find other beers and should not be commenting on it.

9 years ago ·

They’re pasteurized because pretty much everything you drink here in America is pasteurized… milk, beer, even fruit juice. And it makes it all taste like crap. Take it up with our damn hypocritical FDA.

John Bull
9 years ago ·

It should be noted that ale was considered a food in England. A genuinely sustaining drink for the poor labouring man. There is therefore a sense of wholesomeness in ale drinking in traditional English culture. Whilst ale drinking is an ancient practice England had its own upheaval of religious prohibition during the civil war in the 1600s. The oldest commercial brewery is Shepherd Neame founded 1698, a date well after the Restoration of the monarch. Dates of continental breweries from Catholic parts of Belgium and Germany are much older for example. That said people will always gravitate towards quality and I am pleased ale drinking is increasing in the US. It is a simple, tasty, living beverage that is hugely enjoyable. On draft I like a dry hopped ale in the Kentish/Sussex style. In bottles something darker and stronger like Old Peculiar. Cheers!

8 years ago ·

I am trying to find out what is the ingredient in American beers that make me sick. I can drink imported beers and not have a reaction. But what ever it is has caused me to have a condition called esophagealitis. I know this ingredient is in other products as well, and I’m trying to figure out what this is.
When I drink an American beer, my throat closes up, and then I get sick. Now I haven’t had a beer an American beer in many yrs, but still my throat is still red and inflamed. If i can find out, this would save my throat. help please

8 years ago ·

This article and the comments have a horrible stench of elitist twats and various losers who seem to think what beer they drink somehow makes them better than some other person who must obviously be an inbred redneck or an uneducated poor person because they drink a different beer.

8 years ago ·

@idiots: I think you’re projecting your own aggressive response onto others. You assume that because some people prefer some beer over others, and say that some beer is better than other beer, that they are thinking that people that drink the worse beer are somehow inferior.

That’s a very negative assumption and not one in my experience that people that like good beer tends tends to have. They’re a pretty positive bunch – most likely because they’re drinking good beer.

Are there good beers and bad beers? Yes, I would say so. Objectively, some beer has more taste, more layers of taste, greater subtleties, different textures, and so on.

The fact that brewers dedicate their whole lives to perfecting something and that other people will seek what they produce out, and pay more for it. And talk about it. All of this would indicate that there is such a thing as better beer. What’s more people broadly agree on what a better beer is like.

I am also pretty certain that these people – these elitist twats, as you put it – would love nothing more than to explain what it is that they love about their “better” beer. I think you’d find that for an “elite”, it is surprisingly inclusive and welcoming.

If you don’t want to know what people are talking about. If the idea of there being better quality beer offends your sensibilities. If you just like to chug on beer because its refreshing and gives you a buzz, good for you.

But don’t confuse trying to build on that enjoyment by looking for deeper and varied tastes as looking down on others. And if you are interested in what on earth we’re all talking about, go buy some of the beers mentioned above and drink them with an open mind, by yourself if need be. You’ll find that there’s something to it.

8 years ago ·

Btw I had what is possibly the finest beer I have ever tasted in New York a few months ago.

It was Goose Island Bourbon Country Stout and it was on draft at Rye House (11 West 17 Street).

Unbelievably good. On a par with the very best Belgian beers, drunk in Belgium.

henry weems
8 years ago ·

Born and raised in America. Beer here is pure piss. Except for three micros. Very good micros in Minnesota. Hate to say that say that as I’m a Texan.

henry weems
8 years ago ·

Sorry, that should read”the”microbreweries.

8 years ago ·

This is tipical for and Europian. Germans, Czechs and others go to the same tavern the whole life, and they drink the beer they serve. Not two, three or more different beers, but one. If you ask about other beers from rthe same country, the say it is bad. If you tell them you favorite beer is Chinees or French, they call you “PIG”.
If you mentionet American beer, they get in flames and accuse you of beeing stupid. If you bring the facts about winning gold medals on every “World Exposition” in 19th and 20et century for many American beers, they tell you about Indians still running this country and you are a lier.
Make it short. Only American can tell you I do like this beer or that beer without calling you a idiot or PIG.
Europians are very critical of us. And not just in beer. I call it “ENVY” If you discovered some mistakes in grammar, I was born and raised in central Europe.
The best beer is the one I like. If you have sore throut after american beers, you need psycho-doctor and do not drink it.
With respect aand pleasure

8 years ago ·

Pilsner from Pilsen in Czech, is pasteurized just like any other beer in the whole world. Other wise you can not take it to the next village and drink it three days later. The pilsner in Prague you drink is properly not that clean like the Pilsner you drink here in the US. You can also be almost sure, that the “Tavern-master” wash the glass in the same water like 200 glases before. Thats what make the taste fuller and thicker.

8 years ago ·

Interesting how this discussion has developed over the years. I agree with Kieren about Goose Island Bourbon County Stout – a great beer. I have been in USA from England for 5 years. Good quality craft beer is now widely available. There are a few bars where i live in St Louis with numerous beers on tap that would grace any bar in the world, Bells, Avery, Imperial Stouts, Double IPA’s etc. USA beer for variety, in my view is best in the world – mainly because they’ll try anything and push the boundaries. Belgian probably no 1 for sheer quality – UK and Germany 3rd.

There is a difference between real ale and craft beer, which may be pasteurized. A lot of real ale has an insipid similar tasting quality to it – but there is great beer to be found in Britain.

7 years ago ·

Good news – four years after I wrote this piece, reports are that Americans are turning away from crap beer and toward ‘craft’ I.e. tasty beer:

Bill Stevens
7 years ago ·

if American beer is so bad then why do they sell so much? der de der

7 years ago ·

Bill – that really is an appallingly bad argument. In fact, it’s so bad, I’m not going to write the response I just formulated in my head because, frankly, what’s the point? I’ll go spend five minutes doing something more useful with my life.

7 years ago ·

I was just in dublin, and the locals drink budweiser and coors light.. So there is that…

7 years ago ·

Two things –
1 – Good beer is expanding beyond the “craft beer” market and into mainstream production. Here in south Louisiana, for instance, we have the Abita brewery, which is a regional company.
2 – With that expansion, craft beer is (blessedly) less and less exclusively the province of San Francisco douchebags who pride themselves on not being Republicans/gun owners/other bad, scary, and distinctly non-progressive things. The less good beers are solely the province of the bartender from the smirnoff commercial (google it), the better for the rest of us!

Nathan Lere
6 years ago ·

Budweiser, Kirin, Skol, Miller, Sapporo, Coors, etc etc etc., they’re all bland lagers. The reason they’re everywhere is marketing, and for a long long long time, it’s all you had to choose from. Crap Lager A vs Crap Lager B. I hear people arguing what beer is better: Coors vs Budweisser????

It’s the same damn beer with a different label. Maybe a little more sugar in one, or more aging in another, but same lack of distinct hops, and same yeast strains as far as I can tell.

. The founder of Anheuser Busch, Adolphus Busch, couldn’t stand his own beer. He didn’t drink it. The guy who founded Budweiser thought his own beer sucked.

In the end, drink what you like. If you like your beer flavorless and watery, well, have all the bud you want.

9 months ago ·

This is ridiculous. Go into any Walmart and look at their beer aisle. The vast majority are American brews and only a handful of brands fall into the over-marketed rat piss category. Of course, the big monster brews pay to take up HALF the merchandising space, but those sections (where Miller and Bud are stocked) always seem well stocked whereas it is obvious that the smaller breweries that occupy the other half of the beer aisle are well picked over especially on weekends. We’re the American palate truly reset, the opposite would be true, with the weird beers fully stocked and the big brands thinned out.

Americans like to get drunk without buying expensive hard liquor. That is what the cheap beer is for.

But Americans also tend to keep at least a six pack of something interesting and delicious.

This seems to be the norm. I have lived in Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Ohio, New York City, and Virginia (in addition to Germany and South Korea). Everyone has a cheap beer they use to get drunk and nice beers that they savor.

Some people don’t bother with the get-drunk beer. I don’t. Or rather I use a decent beer for that purpose because I can afford to do so.

Sam Adams destroys the very premise of the article, being widely popular and not a microbrew. Foreign companies make the “American” piss beer anyway. It isn’t us. The data regarding the popularity of that beer is largely exaggerated by a media paid off to make them seem popular. When you have tons of power and money you can make statistics up and people will believe them.

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